Meredith Atwood, better known as "Swim Bike Mom," is a wife, mother, attorney, Ironman triathlete, insomniac and coach. She has inspired thousands of women to tackle the sport of triathlon through her blog and her book, "Triathlon for the Every Woman." She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, "The Expert," and two kiddos. Meredith blogs at

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Sometimes (Okay, Lots of Times) Things Don’t Happen As Planned

I am not a thin girl.  I am what some would call “fat” and others would call “fluffy” or perhaps, “plus-sized.”  Some would say, “you are athletic” or “don’t you have the prettiest face.”  Regardless, I am a woman plus more.   Only, I’m not really plus-sized, because I can sometimes wear jeans from normal stores. So take that!   Anyway, my point is:  I am not some “oh isn’t she just darling in her running skirts, flitting all over, running!?”  No, I am not like that when I exercise. I am a large, tough, sweaty mess who has been working really hard to make these triathlon dreams happen.

Triathlon? Oh yes.

I have really been busting my tail training for my next big race.  I have been training for this long triathlon–in addition to other things, like oh, you know–life, work, kids, spouse and the like.  The next big race is kind of a big deal–an “iron” distance race of 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running.  Training for that kind of insanity is pretty tough.  But I have been feeling awesome and strong and ready to go with about eight weeks left.

This morning, as I was sneaking out of the quiet, dark house in the wee hours to get my long run accomplished, I fell down the stairs.  KA-PLAT. Fell.  Down.  I landed on my toes.  But not like a cat.  More like a Buddha.  My poor toes smashed under me.

Suddenly, I knew that I was not running that morning.


The pain was intense, yes.  I was mad that I had fallen (how stupid of me!).  But mostly, I found that I was ticked off because my divine plan, had been thwarted.  My big plan of running and being awesome was no more.

I didn’t cry until I realized that my schedule was messed up.  No cry at the first landing on the ground?  Nope. No cry as I cringed trying to walk? No way.  I only cried when I learned that my day was not going as planned (X-rays? Who has time for that?!).  I cried because my training schedule would have this scarlett “A” on it for the missed workout.

But most of all I cried because I didn’t know how in the world I would plan what was next.  I couldn’t control the “next” part–because I didn’t know what was happening in the present.

Learning to relinquish control of the uncontrollable has been a huge struggle of mine for many years.


After my sob-fest this morning, I realized that I was once again standing , looking out on something important–the ability to get my act together and make the best of the situation.

As I hobbled to the car to go to the doctor, I decided that I would make the best of the limping, non-running scenario.

I might not be able to run with the gnarled foot condition, but I could hug my kids, do my work and kiss my husband. In light of my ephiphany, I decided that I would eat a really bad-for-me dinner, not feel guilty about, then hug my family and start anew tomorrow morning.

Only the next time, I vow to turn on the light and watch my step…


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